Capital Chefs: Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Scallops with beets at Johnny’s Half Shell
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

We’ve done a a couple of scallops recipes on here by now, all ranging in difficulty. I’ve come to find that chefs in this town are really into scallops recipes for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because scallops are versatile, maybe it’s because the home cook can make them with minimal effort but still look fancy.

This recipe for scallops with bacon, roasted beets and a rice wine vinaigrette from Ann Cashion is completely accessible. The bacon adds a nice smokey flavor, and the beets in season right now are pleasantly sweet. That should count for something extra coming from someone that doesn’t think of herself as a big beets fan. Plus, the fried ginger slices and fried red onions for garnish make the dish stand out more. I had never had fried ginger before trying this dish and now I could see myself going hog wild with it as a garnish. It’s got that really nice bite to it.

After the jump you’ll find the full recipe. Enjoy.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Ann Cashion making vinaigrette
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Beets and Scallops with Ann Cashion
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Ann Cashion’s Sea Scallops with Roasted Beets
Serves 1 (author’s note: you can multiply the recipe accordingly to serve more people)

4-6 oz. sea scallops
2 beets, golf ball to tennis ball size
a 2-3 inch knob of fresh ginger
Red onion
1/3 cup all purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 slice bacon
Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying and sauteeing

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Assembling the scallops dish

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place beets in pan with a little water. Cover tightly and cook in oven for one to one and a half hours, checking from time to time for doneness. Beets should be able to be pierced with a knife, but not soft.
3. Remove from oven and peel while still warm.
4. After peeling the beets, slice into different shapes–slices, wedges and batons or any other shape you want to see on the plate. Splash with champagne vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

To prepare the garnishes:
1. Peel ginger and using mandolin, slice very thinly.
2. Peel onion and slice thinly.
3. Heat 1/2″ oil in a heavy bottomed skillet to 350 degrees.
4. Add sliced ginger, stirring, and let fry until browning on edges. Remove from oil using tongs or slotted spoon, and drain on paper towel.
5. Toss onion rings in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Fry in oil until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

To prepare the dressing:
Whisk salt and pepper into rice wine vinegar. Gradually whisk in olive oil to emulsify.

To finish the dish:
1. Dice bacon into 1/2″ squares.
2. Reheat beets in sautee pan over medium low, to heat through but not to blister surface.
3. Heat a sautee pan filmed with oil until very hot. Season scallops and cook in sautee pan, searing and browning on one of the flat sides. Turn the scallops. While browning the second side, add the squares of bacon to cook.
4. Transfer scallops and beets to warm plate. Top the scallops with the bacon. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss crispy ginger and onions together and crown the dish with them. Serve immediately.

courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Scallops with beets at Johnny’s Half Shell
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

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